Thursday, February 1, 2007

MP3 of the Day: Day Off EP featuring Omar Sosa and Greg Landau

Thu, Feb 1, 2007 at 5:04 PM

In promotional photographs, Cuban-born pianist and bandleader Omar Sosa dons the type of costume a Tibetan monk might wear if he were modeling for J Crew: diaphanous robe, turban, African beads. Whether or not such sartorial choices would befit anyone else in the world remains ...well, a point of contention. But the multi-culti updated-Jesus look obviously works for Sosa, whose music is equally pastiche-driven and fashion-forward. Sosa's latest EP, Day Off - which the pianist apparently recorded on (surprise surprise) his day off, in the garage studio of San Francisco producer Greg Landau- combines jazz piano voicings with African drum, and scratching by DJ Mr. E and One Drop Scott. "Fronteras y Sueños" features Sosa plunking and trilling over a reggae backing track. While Sosa's ponderous, faltering melodies sometimes undermine the replay value of Day Off -the artist's main sticking point is that he's sooooo in love with the multi-genre thing that he doesn't always bother to make his music, well, musical- it is, overall, an imaginative and inspired effort. A day well spent, as it were. - Rachel Swan

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